Monday, November 11, 2019

Gavin McLean's final word on New Zealand's heavy toll of shipwrecks

New Zealand maritime disasters
Gavin McLean, edited by Kynan Gentry

Gripping stories of New Zealand’s major shipwrecks with extensive illustrations and colour paintings 
Before his untimely death in April, maritime history expert Gavin McLean was creating this definitive edition of his works on the tragedies that have plagued New Zealand shipping since the first waka reached our shores from Polynesia. 

Brought to completion by his colleague and friend Kynan Gentry, Shipwrecked is a gripping, richly illustrated account of the hazards and heroism that distinguish our maritime history.  

In the last 200 years, in fact over 2500 ships have been fatally wrecked on our shores, sometimes with horrific loss of life. Many more have been salvaged only after epic struggle.

Disasters at sea are no longer the regular occurrence that led to drowning being known as ‘the New Zealand death’, yet recent wrecks like the Rena show that perils persist in the age of GPS and satellites.

Shipwrecked  is a story of terrifying storms, inhospitable coastlines, human error, the malicious hand of fate, and courtroom dramas. It is also testimony to courage, endurance and self-sacrifice. 

In addition to more than 150 photos and ephemera, Shipwrecked reproduces 16 superb colour paintings of notable ships lost to the sea, by renowned artist Eric Heath. 

The author
Gavin McLean wrote or contributed to over 50 books in a distinguished career as an historian. He was an authority on New Zealand shipping, and published widely on the topic while working as a senior historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Gavin passed away in April 2019; this work has been prepared for publication by his colleague Kynan Gentry, research fellow in history at the University of Western Australia.

Gavin McLean (1957–2019)
Publication: 11 November 2019  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-66-7 |  RRP $59.99
Jacketed hardback, 280 x 215 mm portrait, 264 pages (16 pages colour)

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Māori business: community origins explored in new book

The growth of Māori community entrepreneurship
Merata Kawharu and Paul Tapsell
What do a mānuka-honey cooperative in Northland, a ginseng exporter in the King Country and a prison services provider in Dunedin have in common? All are examples of Māori-owned business forging a distinctive identity in New Zealand’s economic and social future.

Based on a five-year research project that blended on-the-ground interviews with scholarly analysis, Whāriki reveals how kin-based business ventures created by Māori are driving social, economic and environmental wellbeing from the whenua (land) up.

The core of the book is eight case studies of Māori businesses. From iwi-driven ideas to whānau enterprises, from Te Hiku o Te Ika in the Far North to Otākou in the Far South, these chapters unpick the business models of primary producers, service providers and social enterprises as they seek to grow their own solutions to economic opportunities and threats.

As Merata and Paul write in the introduction:“Whatever the particular trajectories of each, Whāriki is a binding of threads, revealing the entrepreneurial spirit that still burns despite the ongoing impacts of colonisation; a spirit persistently emerging time and again from within the Māori kin community world.”

The book is available from all good booksellers and there's more on our website by following this link.

The authors
Merata Kawharu (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi) is Research Professor at the Centre of Sustainability, University of Otago. Her most recent book was Maranga Mai! Te Reo and Marae in Crisis? In 2012 she was made MNZM for services to Māori education. 
Paul Tapsell (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Raukawa) is Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. His other books with Oratia are Te Ara, with Krzysztof Pfeiffer and Pūkaki, translated by Scotty Morrison.

Publication: 5 November 2019  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-63-6 |  RRP $39.99
Paperback with flaps, 234 x 153 mm portrait, 200 pages

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

New colours for Nanny Mihi and the Rainbow

Of the five picture books in the original Nanny Mihi series, the story about Nanny and her grandchildren making a rainbow on the beach during the school holidays was the most popular among children and adults alike.

Now, in time for the summer break and after more than ten years of being out of print, Nanny Mihi and the Rainbow returns in this new edition. 

Oratia Books relaunched the series last with a new story from Melanie Drewery, Nanny Mihi and the Bellbird, featuring a fresh illustration style from Tracy Duncan. 

That book has already reprinted twice, proving Nanny still has a place in readers’ hearts. 

Nanny Mihi and the Rainbow marks the next in the refreshed series, and integrates te Reo Māori into the text with translations provided. 

Nanny Mihi teaches her grandchildren and the many kids who will read the book patience, creativity and connection to nature — and that sometimes the best things are not those we keep but those we give away. 

The book is available from all good booksellers and there's more on our website by following this link.

The authors
Melanie Drewery works as a potter and writer from her rural home in Marahau,  Nelson, where the beach is close by. She is an established children’s writer with more than 20 titles to her name, including 2018’s Nanny Mihi and the BellbirdTracy Duncan is an author, illustrator and teacher who lives in Upper Moutere, Nelson. She has illustrated all of the Nanny Mihi stories.

Publication: 5 November 2019  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-65-0 |  RRP $19.99
Paperback, 230 x 215 mm, 32 pages colour

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sharjah International Book Fair: a meeting ground for world books

There's no doubting the rise of the United Arab Emirates as a crossroads for books, ideas and writing. 

Looking to and from the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, site of the Publishers Conference
And the emirate of Sharjah is at the forefront of efforts to encourage more reading, translation and cultural exchange with the Arab-speaking world.

The emirate has devoted significant resources to its annual Sharjah International Book Fair, and invited over 400 publishers to a three-day conference ahead of the fair's opening last Wednesday 30 October. 

Faisal Al Nabouda of the Sharjah Book Authority opens the conference

The Sharjah Book Authority put together a fascinating few days for this first-timer to the Middle East. The first day had a global focus, and I was pleased to be part of the opening seminar looking at trends in the world publishing scene. 

The session, moderated by IBIIDI Books managing director and Book Depository co-founder Emad Eldeen Elakehal, brought in esteemed Sourcebooks founder Dominique Raccah, Ghana Publishers Association president Elliot Agyare and Austin Macauley international publishing director Jade Robertson for a lively discussion of key influences including digital, audio, indigenous languages and globalisation.

Mahmoud Lutfi, brother of IPA 2019 Prix Voltaire recipient Khaled Lutfi, imprisoned in Egypt for his publishing work 

Day two provided insights into the Arabic markets for books and freedom to publish issues globally, with day three shedding light on the challenges and opportunities of book publishing and libraries across Africa.

Bodour Al Qasimi, International Publishers Association vice president and founder of UAE publishing house Kalimat, closing the Publishers Conference
Business meetings and networking events throughout the conference enabled exchanges with publishers from the Middle East, Africa and around the world. 

Signing rights contracts for some of Oratia's children's books with Nancy Liu, director of overseas marketing, People & Tangel Publishing, Beijing
I was able to explore rights and distribution openings in meetings with colleagues from a couple of dozen countries — representing Oratia, Massey University Press and Te Papa Press lists, as well as investigating for the Kiwi book industry on behalf of the Publishers Association of NZ. 

Business meetings with publishers from the region (clockwise from top left): from Mozambique, Sandra Tamele (Editora Trinta Zero Nove); from Jordan, Rami Abu Slayyeh (Jabal Amman); from Bangladesh, Lutfur Rahman Chowdhury (Sandesh)

Invited publishers were also treated to a dinner at Sharjah Book City, an ambitious complex that houses the regional hubs of international book companies. 

Salim Omar Salim of the Sharjah Book Authority with Tony Mulliken of Midas PR, welcoming guests to Sharjah Book City
Sheik Sultan III bin Muhammad, the ruler of Sharjah, opened the fair proper in a lavish ceremony on the Wednesday morning, speaking of the cultural advances that Emirati society has made over the past 40 years. 

"The book is now installed in the culture of every family and home," the Sheikh said, expressing his desire to restore the nation to its traditional role as a source of culture and humanitarianism.

Coverage of the fair and conference from local newspapers the Khaleej Times and Gulf Today

The fair was a buzz of activity, prefacing a busy nine days that will draw some 1 million visitors to browse and buy books. 

Wonderful hospitality at the busy fair opening from the Sharjah Ministry of Culture

There's also a full schedule of author and illustrator appearances, and it was fantastic to attend the opening address to the fair by Turkish author and Nobel Literature Prize laureate Orhan Pamuk. 

I left Sharjah with a much clearer idea of how books fit in to the Arab world, and fresh confidence that New Zealand publishing can become a part of that world.

My sincere thanks to the Sharjah Book Authority and the hard-working team at Midas PR, who made this memorable exchange possible for international publishers.

Below: around the aisles on day one of the Sharjah International Book Fair

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